How many elephants can we lift up to 5 meters with 120Kcalories provided by a yogurt?

The application of BIM in sustainable construction – In between editions of the European BIM Summit (EBS), its organizers, the CAATEEB, BIM Academy and the buildingSMART Spanish Chapter stage conferences on BIM and its specific application in any field of a building’s life cycle. On 24 November there was a seminar on the implementation of BIM in the construction of sustainable buildings with the motto “If the weather changes, professionals must also change” as Jordi Gosalves, president of CAATEEB,  recalled in his presentation

Bruno Sauer, president of the GBCe-Green Building Council Spain, entity that collaborates with EBS since the first edition, explained which is their approach in relation with the esBIM National Strategy. A year and a half ago, the European Union (EU) required five certifications -HQE, DGNB, BREEAM, VERDE and the Finnish certification- to assess the environmental performance of the life cycle and the quality, performance and value (cost) of a building.

The thesis that “ot should not be difficult to use BIM to accomplish nine of 17 overall objectives that the international development marks” has to be transformed into really being able to measure all environmental impacts, including economic impacts beyond the cost of construction and expand the social measurements, simulate impacts and use it as a management tool throughout the life of the building.


BIM has to enable to model buildings that generate value

Salvador Bohigas, from Sustainable Integrated Maintenance (MSI), with the lecture Energy efficiency and the sustainability of projects, expanded the definition of consumption-based energy efficiency to actions that reduce demand. He compared the countless bottles of water with the same function but different design with the difference between the pitcher (0kWh / year) and an electric fridge (613,20kWh/year), to illustrate the energy footprint created by different materials, structural forms with the same amount of material that bear different capacities.

Function durability leads to try to build in a way that we can recover the material after its construction. For Salvador Bohigas it is essential to divide the life of a building in three programming phases: preliminary project, construction project and the operations that thanks to the parameters, more than BIM, can be used to consider different scenarios in parallel locations to determine the most appropriate.

The transformation of energy is basic Physics. Actually, we need 490kJ to raise two elephants of 5.000kg and a yogurt gives us 501kJ of energy. So we could lift two elephants!

The material, the elements, the service units, the system of choice, the durability of the utility, have a vital involvement in every hypothesis that we create in the programs to be able to compare different loads and consumption. BIM will help you choose the equipment to use. BIM should be a strategic change, it has to enable to model buildings that generate value, effective value, environmental value.

Tools for modeling sustainability and BIM

The last contribution of Josep Solé, Sustainability & Technical Manager of URSA Insulation, revolved around the issue of how, from the starting point of the manufacture and use of materials and products, a measurement, a modeling of sustainability, could be performed.

The solution lies in testing and evaluating it. It may be through a checklist or through predictive calculation with specific tools, which need data. The manufacturer becomes the first data provider so BIM tools can work.

BIM can help identify the 3D geometry, surfaces, edges that are configured for the products we use, the components that will be installed and the systems they will configure. BIM will need to calculate integrating the characteristics of materials with the energy system.

Josep Solé showed the need for at least nine blocks of data (and he demonstrated it with the characteristics of an insulating material) to retrieve information geometric off the BIM model. Ultimately, BIM will have to allow a future integration in one model of all the information needed to predict the behavior of any building.